About A470 Soaring

This is the blog for a few guys who spend their time flying radio controlled gliders, or slope soarer's, from the many and varied slopes around SE Wales.

This usually begins at the northern end of Cardiff, driving north up the A470 up to the Heads of the Valley's and the southern fringe of the Brecon Beacons. But the A470 road continues its windy way all the way to N Wales.

There are many slopes available for most wind directions, the most famous being the area between Nant-y-Moel and Treorchi known as The Bwlch, which has some of the best slopes and flying in Europe with many F3F competitions being held there each year and visited by many fliers from Europe and around the world. At 1500 feet (450m) above sea level, there is usually more wind than not, and certainly more than at sea level.

If you require any further information, are new to slope soaring or are visiting the area, please contact Steve at steve.houghton59@gmail.com . I look forward to hearing from you.

Take a look at Page 2 (look below and to the left here) for Google maps of our most popular Flying Sites.

Tuesday 21 July 2020

New Glider Project

I've been wanting a large electric powered glider that I can fly from a flat field or in light conditions from the slope. I already have the Multiplex Heron which is pretty good at what it does and is fine flying in a breeze of less than 10 mph, but I just wanted something larger than its 2.2m wingspan, something with a bit more presence in the air. The kind of model that other flyers look at and go, "oooh that's nice, what is it"? And also it is true that larger models fly so much better, (and easier?) than small models. 

I did a lot of on line surfing and it soon became clear that a fully moulded F5J type of model was going to be well out of my budget, particularly when having to add all the other bits and pieces I would need to complete it, like servo's etc. So it was going to have to be a model with a composite fuselage and obechi veneered foam wings, and so it was that after looking at the manufacturers such as Horizon Hobby, (primarily Staufenbiel), Robbe, Topmodel etc, I decided upon a design from the German manufacturer D-Power, the Streamline 350. 

The Streamline 350 is supplied as what they call a ARF+, so it has all the servo cables prefitted and all servo control linkages are also supplied, as well as a propeller spinner, velcro to hold the LiPo in place, and a roll of clear tape to tape down the 4 x wing servo covers. There are options for ordering the recommended motor, ESC and servo's, and I did order the D-Power servo's as they were competitivly priced against the KST servo's I otherwise would have fitted. It'll be interesting to see how they compare performance/life wise. 

I already had a 4 MAX motor at home which I thought would be suitable and had been purchased for another project a couple of years ago and then I never got around  to using it, along with a new 60A ESC and another pre used 60A ESC I had lying around in my box of bits, so I'm hoping the motor will be man enough for the job, but I'm sure it will be, and I've bought a couple of Turnigy 4S 5000mah LiPo packs to run it off. 

My 1st impressions upon opening the box was that it had been packed well and everything was taped down so that it couldn't move during transit. The wings are covered in Oracover and will need me to go over them with a heat gun as there are a few largish bubbles in places, but that's no big deal.

The asembly instructions are only provided in the German language, but they are available in English on line although the experienced modeller shouldn't really need the written instructions as the black and white photo's are enough to go by. 

I began by fitting the motor and all 6 servo's, which was easy enough. There I came to a halt as I needed an XT90 connector for the ESC to connect to the LiPo. That has now been delivered but I don't currently have the time to continue due to other commitments I have made. Lockdown meant I wasn't able to see my family who all live 200 miles north and south of me, so I've had to arrange to visit them. There are also quite a few events which were postponed during lockdown and have now been rearranged, so they are taking up modelling time. I also thought I had a 8ch RX spare that I could fit, but it turns out I haven't so I'll be ordering one of the Hitec clones from FRSKY https://www.t9hobbysport.com/frsky-v8fr-hitec-8-channel-2.4ghz-minima-compatible-receiver


So check back and later and see how I'm getting on with this project. Even better still, hit the follow button so you will be notified when I make updates. Please also check out my YouTube channel and subscribe to that also. https://www.youtube.com/c/SteveHoughton/featured?view_as=subscriber

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Finally out of lockdown & flying again

Hey guys. Here is my 1st slope video of this year. In Wales the government have finally removed the 5 mile travelling restrictions and so I am now able to drive to my local slopes. Hooray 😁

So check out this video of my 1st session which didn't go to plan due to a dodgy weather forecast.